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Communication in Question: Competing Perspectives on Controversial Issues in Communication Studies, 2nd Edition

By Joshua Greenberg, Charlene Elliott
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Soft Cover
352 pages
ISBN-10: 0176503595
ISBN-13: 9780176503598
Publisher: Top Hat
Edition: 2nd

Communication in Question presents accessible, engaging, and competing position papers by leading Canadian scholars, activists, journalists, and other professionals on topics and debates currently confronting the fields of communication and media studies. This ground-up Canadian text is designed to stimulate discussion and debate regarding the connection between the key issues in the discipline and the everyday life of both students and instructors. The text is organized to address a cross-section of five dominant themes: Classic Debates in Canadian Communication Studies, Media and Social Issues, Technology and Everyday Life, Culture and Regulation, and Entertainment and Popular Culture.


  • *NEW* Point-Counterpoint format introduces students to the idea that academic work is both a conversation and an argument. Even if students disagree with one or both perspectives, they can use each essay as a starting position for asking more probing questions and challenging the assumptions and arguments they have been presented.
  • This text provides a strong focus on engaging Canadian issues in the field of communications studies.
  • The text has been thoroughly updated to represent the current landscape of Canadian communications. As such, 40% of the issues presented are entirely new, and all other essays have been significantly updated.
  • InfoTrac® is a powerful online learning resource consisting of thousands of full-text articles from hundreds of journals and periodicals. By doing a simple keyword search, students quickly generate a list of relevant full-text articles from thousands of possibilities. InfoTrac®'s continually updated collection of articles can be useful for doing reading and writing assignments that reach beyond the pages of this text. Students who purchase a new copy of this text will receive free access to InfoTrac® College Edition for a four month term.

Table of Contents

  • Part One: Classic Debates in Canadian Communication Studies
  • Issue 1: Constructing Canada: Do we need a public broadcaster to enhance democracy?
  • YES: David Taras, The CBC and the Future of the Canadian Media
  • NO: Paul Attallah, What Is the Public in Public Broadcasting?
  • Issue 2: Not neighbourly: Is American news bad for Canadians?
  • YES: Heather Mallick, Fox News North Is a Rancid Idea
  • NO: Christopher Dornan, Voice of America
  • Issue 3: Evil empires: Should limits to foreign ownership of Canadian media be lifted?
  • YES: Richard Schultz, Evil Empires? Nonsense: A Case for Eliminating Restrictions on Foreign Ownership of Canadian Media Properties
  • NO: Kyle Asquith and Valerie Scatamburlo-D?Annibale, Opening the Floodgates: Foreign Ownership, Neoliberal Ideology, and the Threat to Democratic Media Culture
  • Issue 4: Administrative vs. critical: Where should we stake our claim?
  • ADMINISTRATIVE: Terry Flynn and Alexandre Sevigny, A Fool?s Errand: Separating Critical and Administrative Communication Studies in Canada
  • CRITICAL: Sheryl N. Hamilton, Why Critical Communication Study Is Still Relevant, and Even Necessary, in Our Contemporary Mediascape
  • Part Two: Media and Social Issues
  • Issue 1: Childhood obesity: Is banning television advertisements to children the best solution?
  • YES: Bill Jeffery, Advertising and Childhood Obesity: Convincing Legislators Who Refuse to Believe to Ban Advertising to Children Who Will Always Believe
  • NO: Charlene Elliott, The Complexity of Choice: Food Promotion and Our Modern Foodscape
  • Issue 2: Toxic gaming: Do violent video games make children aggressive?
  • YES: Rose A. Dyson, Teaching Children that Killing Is Fun
  • NO: James D. Ivory and T. Franklin Waddell, Among a Sea of Influences That Can Increase Aggression, Video Game Violence Doesn?t Rise to the Surface
  • Issue 3: Buckets for the cure: Do the benefits of cause-related marketing outweigh the costs?
  • YES: Josh Greenberg, Cause-Oriented Marketing and the Benefits to Democratic Discourse
  • NO: Samantha King, Shopping ? Social Change: The Case of Breast Cancer Marketing
  • Issue 4: Representing race: Are Canadian news media racist?
  • YES: Faiza Hirji, Overachievers, Homegrown Terrorists, and Exceptional Cats: Constructing Race in the Media
  • NO: Sean P. Hier and Daniel Lett, Racism, Media, and Analytical Balance
  • Part Three: Technology and Everyday Life
  • Issue 1: The promise and problems of mobility: Power, agency, and cell phones
  • YES and NO: Richard Smith, The ?Danger? of Cellphones: Power and Agency
  • Issue 2: Activism or slacktivism: Can social media drive political change?
  • YES: Patrick McCurdy, Societal Game Changer: The Political Potential?and Power?of Social Media
  • NO: Eileen Saunders, Social Media and Political Change: Beyond the Hype
  • Issue 3: Sexting: Should teens have the right to sext?
  • YES: Amy Adele Hasinoff, Privacy, Consent, and Social Media
  • NO: Nora A. Draper, Familiar Issues, New Implications: Why Teens (and Adults) Should Not Sext
  • Issue 4: We are Big Brother: Is social media surveillance a threat to our sense of community?
  • YES: Christopher Parsons, Sex, Lies, and Digital Memory: How Social Surveillance Threatens Communities
  • NO: Kate Milberry, Social Media for Social Cohesion: The Case of the Toronto G20
  • Part Four: Culture and Regulation
  • Issue 1: Red and white on the silver screen: Is there such a thing as ?Canadian film??
  • YES: Andre Loiselle, Red and White on the Silver Screen: An Iconography of the Canadian Film
  • NO: Peter Urquhart, Canadian Film Does Not Exist
  • Issue 2: Music matters: Are CanCon regulations necessary to promote Canadian music?
  • YES: David Young, Why Canadian Content Regulations Are Needed to Support Canadian Music
  • NO: Ira Wagman, The B Side: Why Canadian Content Isn?t Necessary for the Survival of Canadian Music
  • Issue 3: Speakers cornered: Should Canada regulate around issues of taste?
  • YES: Ronald I. Cohen, Should Canada Censor Shock Jocks, Talk Show Hosts, and Televangelists?
  • NO: Josh Paterson, Free Expression and Censorship of Shock Jocks in Canada
  • Issue 4: Sharing sounds: Does file sharing harm the music industry?
  • YES: George R. Barker, The Economics of File Sharing, Its Harm to the Music Industry, and the Case for Stronger Copyright Laws
  • NO: John Shiga, Four File-Sharing Fallacies
  • Part Five: Entertainment and Popular Culture
  • Issue 1: Trash television: Is reality television harmful to society?
  • YES: Fiona Whittington-Walsh, Reality Television and the Armchair Flaneur
  • NO: Derek Foster, One Person?s Trash Is Another One?s Treasure: Why Reality TV Can Do Just as Much Good as Harm
  • Issue 2: Informed comedy: Do mock news shows make for a more informed public?
  • YES: Ian Reilly, New(s) Parodies, New(s) Alternatives
  • NO: Mary Francoli, Informed Comedy or Impotent Politics?
  • Issue 3: Social networks and privacy: Should government be more Interventionist in protecting personal privacy?
  • YES: Leslie Regan Shade, Whose Radical Transparency? Why Privacy Rights Are Necessary for the Facebook Generation
  • NO: Boyd Neil, Social Media and Privacy Protection: A Public Issue, an Individual Responsibility
  • Issue 4: Entertaining politics: Is it all about image?
  • YES: Bernard Gauthier, Image Is Everything in Politics
  • NO: Jennifer Ditchburn, Leadership Material Isn?t Made of Denim

Author Information

Joshua Greenberg

Josh Greenberg is an associate professor in the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University. His research interests and areas of teaching and publication include public relations and promotional culture, emergency-risk communication, social movements and the media, and media representations of social problems.

Charlene Elliott

Charlene Elliott is the Canada Research Chair in Food Marketing, Policy and Health, and an associate professor of communication at the University of Calgary. She is jointly appointed with the Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Kinesiology. She has published numerous articles pertaining to issues of communication and the body (ranging from sensorial communication and taste communication to obesity and public health), as well as food promotion and policy. Her current research focuses on food marketing to children within broader questions of taste, popular culture, health, and policy.